Recently, the Community Involvement Committee hosted a volunteer event at the local Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Rocky Hill. A night filled with board games, cards and bean-bag toss, HYPEsters met with local veterans to chat and recreate. Imparting stories and card-shark wisdom, we experienced some exciting conversations about their past and excitement for the future.
"In playing blackjack, I learned a few tricks which I’d have not known otherwise (don’t reveal the card that’s facing down, don’t hit on 18, etc.) - mostly because I primarily use cards for lower-intellect games like go-fish, war or king’s cup. After realizing blackjack isn’t my forte, I paired off with a veteran to play some chess - again learning quite a few tricks (after losing three consecutive matches).
I often consider myself too busy to play games or meet new people (Season 2 of Narcos has nothing to do with this, I promise). Overall, the experience reminded me of the value in slowing down to enjoy a conversation with a stranger - let alone one with so many stories to tell.
I’m not saying that we should do more of these events so that I can expand my card-shark abilities, but I am excited at the next opportunity to visit the VA and interact with those who have such a rich history." - Justin Zukowski, Community Involvement Committee Member
"I had the privilege to play Cribbage with one gentleman who initially was hesitant to join our event and to play this particular game with someone who hadn’t played in 10+ years. I vocalized that I had played often as a kid with both my Father and Grandfather but that it had been some time and I may need a refresher on some of the rules. With that said, he took me under his wing and we got started with the game pretty quickly. As we played, we each shared a little about ourselves, where we were from, what we did for work, etc. He even shared photos from the days when he drove a race car, yes, a race car!
As the game was wrapping up, not only had I gotten a refresher, I had received a few pointers, and I was winning the game! Who would have thought. As the evening came to a close, we gave a brief overview of HYPE and our committee while also thanking everyone who joined us that evening. The gentleman I sat beside shared his enthusiasm with me and even requested that an event like this be hosted again in the future. In that moment, I knew that this wasn’t the last time I’d be volunteering with the CT Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs.
As the Community Involvement Vice Chair, I am proud to be a part of such an enthusiastic committee who brings to fruition events such as these. Moments like volunteering at this event are what inspire individuals to continue giving back, which leads to further investing in their communities and opening their eyes to people and organizations they may never have been exposed to otherwise. Stay tuned for upcoming HYPE volunteer opportunities." - Amanda Trothier, Community Involvement Committee Vice Chair
Thank you to the staff and the Veteran's for such a fun volunteer event!